Thursday, August 06, 2009

Swine Flu (H1N1) Vaccine Safety Questioned by Drug Policy Researcher and Professional Ethics Director

Some parents of autistic children have, for many years, questioned the safety of vaccines, vaccine ingredients and vaccine schedules in connection with the dramatic rise in autism spectrum disorder diagnoses. The standard response is that vaccines are safe and parents are typically branded as hysterical or ignorant or both. These responses ignore the fact that flu vaccines containing thimerosal are still given to pregnant women and that mercury based thimerosal crosses the placenta. The official "don't worry, be happy" responses also ignore the cumulative amounts of mercury from the multitude of vaccinations young children receive. With the Swine Flu (H1N1) panic upon us some parents question the safety of the Swine Flu vaccine being rushed into production without safety testing. They are not alone.

In What do we know about the vaccines' safety? Not enough , published in the Globe and Mail, Alan Cassels a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria and Arthur Schafer, director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba, point out the fact hat public health authorities simply do not know whether the Swine Flu vaccine will be effective or whether it will be safe:

Public-health officials around the world seem to be suggesting there is a possibility this flu pandemic could get much worse, that is, become more lethal. If that were to happen, it seems “obvious” that wise people should seek to have a preventive flu shot or access to a pill. Many people will say to themselves: Why not get the shot, just to be sure?

Part of the answer to that question is that until a million people roll up their sleeves to get the vaccine, no one can be sure how safe it will be. This is also a decisive answer to those who favour making vaccination mandatory.

Some public-health officials have described flu vaccines as “highly effective,” but the internationally recognized Cochrane Collaboration (which accepts no money from the pharmaceutical industry) did a systematic review of all high-quality randomized trials (25 in all) studying influenza vaccination. They concluded that “the evidence does not support universal immunization of healthy adults.” Period.

Cassels and Schafer point out that this is not the first time public health authorities have recommended action for treating flu without evidence to support the safety or effectiveness of that course of action. The quote above references a review of influenza vaccination generally which did not support universal immunization of health adults. The authors also discuss Tamiflu and Relenza, anti-viral drugs which are supposed to reduce the severity and length of flu but which have been shown by scientific testing to be little or no better than a placebo. Worse, a recent international study reveals that about 50 per cent of children who have taken Tamiflu experienced side effects from gut problems, diarrhea, to serious, neuropsychiatric problems. Cassles and Schafer take authorities to task for glossing over the problems with these anti-viral drugs.

I have in the past criticized the Globe and Mail for repeating the "vaccines can do no wrong" mantra of public health authorities and marginalizing parents who express concerns about vaccine safety. I commend the Globe and Mail for offering this thought provoking article using credible sources to provide a different perspective on the current Swine Flu Pandemic/Panic and the rush to flood the world with an untested vaccine.

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Unknown said...

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Anonymous said...

Somehow this Forbes quote is less than reassuring:

"We won't know that the vaccine is safe until it's given to large numbers of people," said Dr. Scott R. Lillibridge, a professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health in Houston and executive director of the National Center for Emergency Medical Preparedness and Response. "Every vaccine has a trade-off and a safety profile."

Cherie Peattie said...

I appreciate you posting about this Harold. For years I have been convinced of the overwhelming connection between Autism and my son receiving the 2004 flu shot; which contained therimosal. The immediate damage caused from the flu shot to say the very least was: barbarically aggressive!

As a parent of an autistic child I am forced to stand back and look at the swine flu vaccine and want to scream to the world, " ARE YOU CRAZY? " People are nuts to even contemplate sticking yourself nonetheless your child with an experimental, ineffective and highly toxic shot."

Perhaps I am mistaken. Perhaps Autism really is just a fluke of nature that is eating our children at an astonishing rate of 1 in 150. But I don't think so....

Perhaps any parent who has reported immediate changes with their child after receiving a vaccine whether a flu shot, MMR, Hep B and any other believed link to autism are just looking for anything to blame Autism on besides genetics. But I don't think so...

Perhaps the government really is looking out for what is best for all Canadians and the world when looking at the prevention of possible world wide pandemics. But I don't think so...

I think parents of children with Autism who are reporting these results are telling the truth and they need to continue to make noise.

Vaccines are not safe and cause more damage then good when looking at the big picture. Let us look at it form the perspective of genetic warfare. Our children have no chance to protect themselves or their future children against Autism and other related disorders as long as we continue to allow the government to dictate what we are willing to accept into our own bodies and the fragile complexities of a developing child.

Before you say yes and roll up your sleeve or your child's just think, " Is this shot going to save my child's life because you are in immediate danger of contracting the swine flu? Can you afford to suddenly have an autistic child? Can you afford to loose all of your hopes and dreams and put yourself into financial ruin to fight for your child to complete even the most basic success with any skill? Can your marriage, friends and family relations all with stand the impact of Autism?

If you have answered yes to any of the following questions then good luck with your journey into the swine fly shot and the inevitable chaos it will take in your life!

If you said no... then think honestly is it really worth it?

The swine flu vaccine will be as effective as administering candy for the cure of any possible disease.

Pez, anyone?

Cherie Peattie said...


Your referral to Green African Monkeys makes me wonder if you are somehow connected to, Dr. W. John Martin from California, USA.

The ACE Pathways Investigational Study conducted by BJ McKelvie ( New Brunswick, Canada) and Dr. W. John Martin ( California ) was an illegal study conducted internationally by two individuals who were causing as much harm as the alleged government is with forcing people to get vaccines which have caused overwhelming harm to hundreds and of thousands of families internationally.

Health Canada and the FDA have both ruled that this was an illegal study.

Although I appreciate your feedback and comments regarding this subject, I must admit that your statements make me as apprehensive towards your information as the pharmaceutical companies do by endorsing the latest vaccine concoction.

Anonymous said...

H1N1 Vaccines and Your Children: The details are in the fine print!

WARNING: Safety and effectiveness of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine have not been established in pregnant women or nursing mothers or children <6 months of age. References from the CDC included in the above link. Seeing is believing so take a look not only for yourself, but for your family as well.

Chris Shaker said...

It appears that the increase in autism is correlated to the increasing age of parents:

You can find pointers to scientific papers on the relationship between the parent's age and risk of autism by searching for 'age of father and autism' on this website:

Here are pointers to some of the studies from Australia, the USA, and from Isreal, which reached the same conclusion:

The Dear Hunter said...

Does anyone remember the tale of Chicken Little?

I too am concerned about what is true/safe.

I too, am skeptical that I (personally) will contract this flu.

And I too, have scoured the "internets" for information.

I am not a scientist. I am not affiliated, in any way, with the pharmaceutical industry. I'm just trying to sort through the TON of articles, regarding this topic.

It's ironic that we (as a society) have become so skeptical about science; and yet we have no problem using science to justify our claims.

I find it telling, that someone will chastise the voodoo-science within medicine; while at the same time utilizing the internet, a personal computer/cellphone---and the science behind these devices---to blog and promote their opinion as fact.

I still haven't decided whether or not to get it---not because I'm concerned about the sky falling; but because I'm not in any of the target groups.

If you're still on the fence, I recommend the following article:

Unknown said...

Tim you have an interesting take on these issues. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous said...

People, I would much rather vaccinated my children than run the risk of all of the above mentioned diseaes!!! Hep B?? MMR??? Polio??? Chick Pox??? Diptheria???? Should I keep going? Im not sure how many of you have sat in any neo natal intensive care units, but I have for SEVERAL MONTHS, and saw many parents lose there babies right before my eyes. And not far down the hallway, the PICU!! I'm not going back there for something that could have been prevented with a simple vaccination !! Both of my children will receive the swine flu vaccine tomorrow!

And just to add, my sons 14 yr old perfectly healthy friend just got out of the ICU because of the very same virus!!

Mr Braan said...

Let's assume for a moment that a link has been proven between the vaccine for disease X and autism. Disease X has a 1:10000 chance of killing your child if he contracts it. How strong an association between the vaccine and autism would you be willing to accept? 1:1,000? 1:10,000? 1:100,000?

We don't know how safe the H1N1 vaccine is, that's true. But we also don't know how dangerous the disease is. Make a judgement for yourself and your family based on a balanced view, not the view of some people who are keen to promote their personal views for or against immunisation based on their own personal anecdotes.

And rememberthis, while you're doing your "research": Barely anything you read on the internet is peer-reviewed. Little of what you read can be relied upon as fact, unless you know how to carefully assess the provenance and quality of the data you're trying to interpret. Ignore the newspaper articles, the blogs, the wikis and anything else that can be written without review or editorial control.

I'll be reading articles in the Lancet and the NEJM, and hopefully my decision will be an informed one.

Jasmine said...

thanks for sharing this map to us,
there is a Hugh possibility to treat swine flu by herbal treatment.
The government gave free swine flu shots, becaue if you didn't get the series of two you were considered UNAmerican and a damn Communist
I had one. When people began dying from the vaccine, news reports become very quiet (as I recall). Turned out there was nothing to fear.
People with respiratory illness or fever should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading infections, including influenza, to others in the community
Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or otherwise appear ill.

Margaret Kowalski said...

Finally, a blog that isn't trying to sell me something! From my personal experiences as a physician, I've learned that flu shots are very important for all people, especially the elderly and young children. Thanks for your great post :)